British Airways Rolls Out Its Updated First Class

While some airlines are moving away from First Class, British Airways continues to embrace it. They’ve just rolled out the latest version of their First Class product, and it seems very, well, British. I like that about BA, even though I highly doubt I’ll ever sit in these seats.

I consider myself something of an Anglophile, so I like the traditional, stuffy British style, stiff upper lip and all. That’s why I was with Margaret Thatcher when she condemned those silly world tails. People want British Airways to be British. And when it comes to First Class, I want some of that traditional British service. Heck, you can put Mr Belvedere up there and I’d even be happy. So here’s what they’ve done.

BA New F Seat

If you know BA’s First Class, this seat will look fairly similar. In fact, the biggest difference is that, as you can see, Rachel Weisz is now included in the price of the ticket. This isn’t a Singapore-style suite where you’re completely and totally closed off from the world, so you and Rachel will have to be discreet. Some people may not be thrilled that they don’t have a closed-off suite, but for some reason, it really doesn’t bother me.

The one thing that really stands out is the window. I know that sounds dumb, but it’s incredible how much that impacts the cabin feel. Unfortunately, the BA stock photos don’t show the window very well, so I took the one that got closest. To see some great pics, go to Business Traveller’s coverage.

As you can see, they’ve put inside paneling that effectively eliminates the round window that we’ve all come to expect on an airplane. There are now blinds on bigger interior windows that, when closed, make you forget you’re on a plane. It’s a pretty cool effect in pictures. I can’t wait to see what it looks like on an airplane (undoubtedly as I’m turning right to go to a lesser class).

Some of the little touches are nice as well. For example, you’ll find a wardrobe in each seat so you can hang your clothes. There is also a leather-bound desk. Totally unnecessary, but then again, isn’t First Class in general?

The seat has been installed on a single 777 so far, but it sounds like it’ll be awhile before it starts going on to the rest of the fleet. Guess we’ll all just have to wait.


11 Responses to British Airways Rolls Out Its Updated First Class

  1. Am I reading correctly when it says the fuselage window has essentially been blocked off??? There will no longer be a way to see the outside world from the new BA F-Suite?

  2. David SFeastbay says:

    “”””Totally unnecessary, but then again, isn’t First Class in general?””””

    Yes 1st class is unnecessary but it helps pay their bills and gives the people who think they are better then everyone else a place to sit. That’s unless I’m on the flight and sitting in first class, then it’s ok…..lol

    The times I’ve been to Europe have been in first class so that was nice, and I’m not sure I could ever fly that long (from the west coast) in coach. But since some airlines have improved coach maybe I could, even if it’s just individual seat back entertainment systems that could help pass the time. I would certainly pick an airline for long haul travel by what they had to offer in the cabin I would be sitting in, it can make all the difference in the world on how you feel during the trip and the shape you are in when you arrive.

  3. Daren S says:

    I do like the subtle changes that they have made and the focus on Britishness which I agree is what the brand should stand for. I’m pleased that they didn’t go down the closed off suit route and haven’t tried to out-bling EK (as if that is possible).

    I flew First a few years back and the whole experience was excellent, though the new Club World is also very good and I’m not convinced the price difference is entirely justified. I think I will need to try it out sometime, just to double check!

  4. The Traveling Optimist wrote:

    Am I reading correctly when it says the fuselage window has essentially been blocked off??? There will no longer be a way to see the outside world from the new BA F-Suite?

    I’d guess it has the smaller airplane window behind it. So you get to close the nicer blinds and forget you’re on a plane.

  5. Brian Lusk says:

    Wow, this looks like a lower berth on a Pullman sleeping car.

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  7. CF says:

    The Traveling Optimist wrote:

    Am I reading correctly when it says the fuselage window has essentially been blocked off??? There will no longer be a way to see the outside world from the new BA F-Suite?

    As Nicholas said, the window is still behind. If you open the blinds, you can see out. Click on that Business Traveller link in the body of the post and you’ll see how it looks with the blinds open.

    David SFeastbay wrote:

    The times I’ve been to Europe have been in first class so that was nice, and I’m not sure I could ever fly that long (from the west coast) in coach. But since some airlines have improved coach maybe I could, even if it’s just individual seat back entertainment systems that could help pass the time.

    The difference between First and coach is tremendous, but on many airlines, including BA, you can now also fly premium economy or business. I don’t understand why you would ever need to buy First over business unless you’re just far too rich and need to burn your money.

  8. Oliver says:

    > The seat has been installed on a single 777 so far

    I assume it’s only one seat because, well, there is only one Rachel? ;)

  9. Whew! I view the blog sometimes where the pictures and visuals are prohibited. My cobwebbed mind wasn’t able to translate what had been written.

    From the picture I now clearly see, it doesn’t look half bad at all.

  10. David SFeastbay says:

    The photo isn’t that good at showing off the product. Look at the actress laying there with her eyes open and laying at an odd position with her knees bent.

    It makes it look like you can’t lay flat and you have to get in an odd position that is not comfortable and you can’t sleep. She should have been laying out flat and straight legged with her eyes closed to represent the peaceful slumber you can get (if you really can).

  11. BA is still restoring the First Class experience of their passengers. It’s good to know about it’s effort of keeping the passengers relax while in a lengthy hour trip with a feeling of being at home. I wish you could also add some pictures on how the window added a cabin effect.

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